Tristan Taormino
Photo: Hank Hoffman

Interview: Tristan Taormino

September 25 , 2006



A tireless sex educator and advocate for bringing the passion back into porn, Tristan Taormino started her adult video career with a bang in The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women and hasn't looked back. She's now a contract director for Vivid and her movies just keep getting better and better.

She connected with us on Instant Messenger to give us the inside scoop on her newest foray into reality porn, Chemistry.


Naked Truth: First off, tell us about your new movie.

Tristan: Chemistry is a reality/gonzo movie, where I take 7 porn stars to a house for 36 hours and film everything. There is no schedule, no script, and they set the agenda. They decide who they want to fuck, how, when and where.

Naked Truth: Would you call it a sequel to House Of Ass? If not, how does it differ?

Tristan: Well, I definitely began the idea in House of Ass, but I honed it in Chemistry. The perv cam (which debuted in H of A) -- the camera that the cast has to film each other -- plays a much more crucial role in Chemistry. And there is way more spontaneity in Chemistry, there is much less structure.

Naked Truth: Was it difficult to achieve that spontaneity with so many professionals? Was it hard to make the shoot feel more like a vacation than a set?

Tristan: It was certainly a challenge since performers are used to being told what to do, and the expectation is that I will call out positions, or tell them to change what they're doing, or tell them how they should act. But the cast was just phenomenal. They all love sex and quite frankly, couldn't keep their hands off each other. The crew had to try and keep up with their antics. As for the vacation element, I try to have a relaxed set with lots of good food where the talent feels comfortable to chill out. There is no formula, but it's just really important that they don't feel pressure, they can relax and have a little fun.

Naked Truth: What do you think was the best or most exciting scene that resulted from that atmosphere?

Tristan: It's hard to say because each scene has something I love. There is an oral sex scene where Jack Lawrence licks Dana DeArmond's pussy but he never takes his clothes off; it's all about her. That was really hot. There is a four-way, the final scene, that just had amazing energy and chemistry, where Mr. Marcus fucks Dana in the ass, and she just goes to another place. The scene with Marie [Luv] and Mr. Marcus - we shot them for like 3 hours - is edited down, but the connection between them is just amazing.

Naked Truth: It sounds like you had a lot of footage; the movie ended up edited down to about three hours. What, if anything, was your favorite part that didn't make it in?

Tristan: Everything is in there! I mean the movie is 3 hours, but there is tons of bonus footage, bonus confessions, several extra sex scenes, behind the scenes - everything I wanted is on the 2 DVDs...

Naked Truth: You performed in the two Ultimate Guide videos and in Ecstatic Moments, but not in House of Ass. Are you just a director nowadays, or will we be seeing you in front of the camera again? Which is to say, are you in Chemistry as a performer at all, or just behind the camera?

Tristan: Well, I am not ruling out stepping in front of the camera. You will even see in the photo galleries on Chemistry that I jumped into the action in one scene (we only have stills of it). But for now, I really want to concentrate on directing, it's where my head is at. My exhibitionist phase is over, I think.

Naked Truth: Our loss.

Tristan: Thanks, that's sweet.

Naked Truth: We notice that Chemistry is actually called Chemistry Volume 1. Will you be revisiting the idea, and do you already have plans for a Volume 2?

Tristan: Yes, Chemistry is envisioned as a series. Chemistry 2 is already shot, I am currently editing it. And I am shooting Volume 3 next month. In fact, on the DVD, there is a sneak preview of volume 2, part of a scene between Christian and Kimberly Kane.

Naked Truth: We love Kimberly Kane. How about you - any favorite performers that you really want to feature? We know you like Mr. Marcus.

Tristan: Yeah, I have a hard time not putting him in every one of my movies! Well I am in love with Dana DeArmond, working with her was incredible. I really want to work with Penny Flame, but she is out of town for my next shoot. I am intrigued by Sasha Grey, there is so much buzz about her right now, it's wild. I have a crush on Sativa Rose. I am working with Adrianna Nicole and Roxy DeVille and Jada Fire next, and they were at the top of my wish list. I am waiting for Toni Ribas, Manuel Ferrara, and Tommy Gunn, they are still on my list. Oh, did I mention Mr. Marcus?

Naked Truth: Everybody loves Mr. Marcus. He's apparently the nicest guy in the world.

Tristan: He is! And that huge cock doesn't hurt his popularity either...

Naked Truth: You seem to have moved on from the educational format, but you're still an educator? Do you feel you still have things to say on film in that context? Are there any more Ultimate Guides in your quiver?

Tristan: Yes, when I signed the deal to direct for Vivid, it was for a reality series and a sex ed series. I am shooting the first 2 sex ed movies next month: one on anal sex (shocking!) and one on pussy licking.

Naked Truth: Of all the crazy things!

Naked Truth: Strap-on movies are gaining popularity these days, what with Joey Silvera's Strap Attack and even Kurt Lockwood getting in on it with his Shane's World DVD. How about an ultimate guide to anal sex for men?

Tristan: Well, first off, let me say that Kurt takes it up the butt from Mika Tan's strap-on in Chemistry, and it was super hot. And someone else might get a toy in his butt in Volume 2, but I will leave that to be a surprise. Yes, a "strap-on sex/anal sex for him" video is certainly on the list. Clearly you are reading my mind!

Naked Truth: Who do you think is making good porn these days, besides you?

Tristan: "Good porn" is so individual, so specific to a person's tastes. I love what Eon McKai is doing with Vivid-Alt, I really like the people he has brought in to direct. I am excited about this new feature, Corruption, from Sex Z, it looks cool. My friend Ernest Greene just did The Story of O, I have only seen the trailer, but I am thrilled about what I have heard about it. Joanna Angel's sex comedies are totally entertaining. Belladonna is making great gonzo. Pink and White Productions is making dyke porn that rocks. Wow, I could go on for days here. Oh, I forgot DCypher. I like his stuff and now that he's moved to Club Jenna, I can't wait to see what he'll do...

Naked Truth: Speaking of Joanna, there is a growing porn scene in New York; would you call yourself an East Coast porn-maker, or would you say that there is anything particularly New York about the stuff you're doing?

Tristan: Well, I was born and raised in New York, so I guess I bring a New York attitude and sensibility to everything I do. But I shoot all my stuff in LA because 90% of the talent is there. I guess I am bi. Bi coastal.

Naked Truth: So it sounds like you have all kinds of plans for the future in terms of what you want to shoot; most everything we've seen from you so far has been more or less all-sex, to be loose about it. Do you have any plans to shoot features, or ideas that you'd like to see on the screen?

Tristan: You know, I am not a feature kind of girl, really, but I never say never. And I must say that the features currently being made are pretty amazing and inspiring. But I have my hands full right now with Chemistry and the sex ed series - I am concentrating on them for the foreseeable future. I would love to do an all amateur Chemistry.

Naked Truth: I'm surprised you haven't done amateur yet - not as a performer, but as a director. I would think you'd know a lot of people who would make great porn stars. Would you recruit friends, or put out a call on Craigslist?

Tristan: Well, I would recruit people I know or have met through all my other jobs as a sex educator, a sex event producer, etc. As for Craigslist, while it sounds fun, I would be afraid of flaking. MySpace would probably yield some good people, though.

Naked Truth: So, aside from the educational and Chemistry projects, what else have you got going on?

Tristan: Hmm, well, I co-produce an event called Dark Odyssey. We just had our fall event and now we're working on one for Easter weekend in Washington DC. I am writing a new book about open relationships. I am working on a couple TV documentary projects. I still write my bi-weekly column in the Village Voice and a monthly column in Taboo. And I'm sure there are like five things I'm forgetting...

Naked Truth: There always are. Is there anything we didn't ask about that you wanted to discuss?

Tristan: Oh, sure, a million things! But for now, I think we're fine...

Naked Truth: Thank you, and have a great day.

Tristan: OK. Thanks so much!


Check out Tristan's latest movie, Chemistry from Vivid